Scout - Bowden’s Therapy Dog
Bowden House is committed to every aspect of your child’s development and we are mindful of the need for accessible, inclusive therapeutic interventions. We are happy to report that as part of the therapeutic offer we now have a therapy dog in-training, Scout.
Scout is a Cavapoo, selected for her temperament, reduced risk of congenital health issues, and hypoallergenic, non-shedding coat. Cavapoo’s are intelligent, curious and companionable dogs. They are extremely good around children and highly recommended for therapeutic roles.
Scout is completing basic training until she is old enough to undergo specific therapeutic training when she can be registered as an Emotional Support Animal by Miss Hogg, the on-site CAMHS clinician.
Scout has been health tested, microchipped and fully vaccinated with routine worming and flea treatments. Care has been taken to socialise Scout and provide a phased integration to the premises, staff and students.
- Therapy dogs have been shown to support emotional regulation through the positive and soothing impact on the autonomic nervous system.
- They can teach empathy and support the development of appropriate interpersonal skills which can improve a young person’s understanding of social cues, imperative to human relationships.
- Furthermore recent reports have highlighted how children working with therapy dogs experienced increased motivation for learning, resulting in improved academic outcomes.
- Benefits have been shown across several areas including: an increase in school attendance; improvements in confidence; lessening of learner anxiety and developing relational security and a readiness to enter into more trusting relationships.
- Recent scientific studies have demonstrated that even a short-term exposure to dogs has beneficial physiological and psychosocial effects.
Though Scout is still training, we are confident that interactions with the students will hold considerable benefits. In fact, whilst learning alongside one another this can help the students think about boundaries and limit setting, impulse control, and forging trusting relationships without judgement or expectation. Caring for an animal can also promote healthy lifestyle choices - looking at nutrition, sleep and exercise routines and how these shape and influence behaviour and learning.
Once consent is given the students can interact with the dog if they are happy to do so. If a student is nervous or unsure but would like the opportunity to meet with the dog, a careful approach using graded exposure can help build their confidence.